ANGELES CITY — Retired seasoned public servant Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin has assailed Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan for “amassing wealth out of the government’s coffer” throughout his entire public service career.
“Wala siyang ginawa kundi magpakasasa sa pera ng bayan sa buong career nya mula sa local at national government,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin was reacting to the statement made by Pamintuan during the flag raising ceremony on Monday, November 7 at the Angeles City Hall.
Pamintuan allegedly said that Lazatin did nothing to improve the Ospital Ning Angeles (ONA).
“Sa 16 years na wala ako, pagbalik ko ganun pa din ang ONA. Walang ginawa kundi pinangalan sa tatay nya ang ONA. Wala kasing ginawa kundi magsugal at maggolf,” Pamintuan was quoted as saying by the Lazatin camp.
Angeles City Communications Officer Jay Pelayo IV, however, clarified that Pamintuan did not mention any name during his message at the flag ceremony. “Marami na pong naging mayor sa Angeles,” according to Pelayo.
“The message of the mayor was clear. He does not want his family name to be put (in a building) and replace a name of a building or a structure that is owned by the people of Angeles.”
Pelayo added: “As far as I know, wala pa ho akong nakitang mansyon na pag-aari ni Mayor EdPam. The home where he is staying is already 24 years old and doon pa rin siya umuuwi hanggang ngayon.” “And yes, he was a human rights lawyer and was lawyering for the poor.”
Lazatin further said: “Ako ang past time ko magsugal gamit ang pera ko na kinita ko sa negosyo ko at minana ko sa Papa at Mama ko, si Pamintuan past time nya magnakaw sa kaban ng bayan.”
Lazatin said when Pamintuan was mayor from 1992 to 1998, ONA was likened to the song of Monalisa where patients “just lie and die there.”
“ONA was only 50 bed capacity when I took over as Mayor in 1998 from Pamintuan. The budget of Angeles City during the time of Pamintuan was used as his Social Amelioration Fund that was used by him and his ally councilors,” Lazatin said.
“And I still have records of that,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin added Pamintuan even used a loan from Landbank as salaries of his job order employees that time as per Commission on Audit report.
“Noong umupo akong Mayor ng Angeles City pagkatapos ng term ni Pamintuan bangkarote ang siyudad. Inubos ni Pamintuan,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin added that when Pamintuan was Vice Mayor in 1987, he was just renting a duplex house in Barangay Marisol now Barangay Ninoy Aquino and only use a Nissan Stanza car.
“Noong nag Mayor na, nakabili na ng Mansion at magagarang sasakyan. Wala namang negosyo na nakarehistro sa kanya,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin added that when Pamintuan was appointed National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager, he literally converted the agency as collecting agency.
“Kubra na sila ng kubra sa mga contractor ng NHA para sa sarili niya,” Lazatin said.
The same was done by Pamintuan when he was appointed as head of Manila North Rail Project.
“Anong nangyari sa northrail? Wala. Nagbayad na gobyerno, ano nangyari sa proyekto? Wala,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin cautioned Pamintuan in issuing baseless statements that the former did nothing to improve the state of ONA.
It can be recalled that during the time of Lazatin, six additional hospital wings was constructed augmenting the bed capacity of ONA from 50 to 300.
“Nagawa natin iyan kahit na ang budget ng siyudad noon ay P200 million lang compared sa P1.5 Billion budget ngayon tapos madaming supplier ng siyudad na di nababayaran ni Pamintuan,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin said that during his time patients in ONA are being treated for free unlike today where patients are being asked to deposit p6,000 before admission.
It was also during the time of Lazatin that the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was established and so is the 24 hour Mayor’s Desk that has been admitted by the City Council’s Majority Bloc leader, Alex Indiongco, “as very effective.”